Quebec will invest $1.1 billion in community action

Quebec promises better days for community organizations in the province, which have had a particularly hard time in recent years of the pandemic due to a lack of resources combined with an increase in demand.

The Legault government wants to help them pursue their mission and make their importance known to society, which is why it will invest $1.1 billion over the next five years to implement its government action plan for community action 2022-2027.

The Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, said at a press conference on Saturday that this investment will be used to improve and expand the offer of community organizations, in order to help them accomplish their mission.

In particular, the plan provides for $888.1 million allocated to increased government funding to support the overall mission of community organizations, while $186.8 million will be used to improve working conditions, staff training and to human resource management.

“Community action is a component that is really essential for the social and economic development of Quebec,” said Minister Boulet, especially through the wide range of areas involved: from homelessness to school perseverance, in through domestic violence, drug addiction, integration and much more.

“It’s a plan which is coherent, which is global and which includes concrete actions. I was glad to announce that; we are talking about $1.1 billion over five years,” added the minister.

The government promises to improve the ability of community organizations to act by offering them financial support commensurate with their mission. Each organization will therefore have to present its mission to Québec, which will then be able to offer it the subsidies necessary to achieve its objectives.

A process that will remain simple, assured Mr. Boulet in an interview with The Canadian Press “All funding applications for community organizations supported by my department will be simplified. We are going to work in collaboration with them to ensure that the whole bureaucratic aspect is reduced as much as possible. »

In addition to supporting existing organizations, Quebec is providing an envelope of $9.4 million over five years to help new players establish themselves in their community.

The eternal challenge of recruitment and retention

Since community organizations are not spared from the labor shortage, Minister Boulet promised that incentives to work or volunteer with an organization will be put in place.

This will notably take the form of expanding accessibility to the pension plan and group insurance, particularly for new employees, but Mr. Boulet also emphasized the importance of properly training people. who want to work in the community.

The Minister emphasized that to get a good start in a community action career, you must first take advantage of training adapted to this type of intervention. The plan therefore provides $4.4 million to improve the training available and make it more adapted to the current reality.

It is also mentioned in the plan that steps must be taken to ensure that training is better adapted to the realities of Aboriginal and Anglophone organizations and those of persons with disabilities.

“You have to retain young talent who wants to work in the community sector, according to Mr. Boulet. So training, benefits, pension plans, group insurance, they must have access to it. »

Still work to do

The Quebec Network of Autonomous Community Action welcomed Minister Boulet’s tabling of the plan, but it believes that the investments dedicated to the overall mission of independent community action organizations are too low compared to other sectors.

“The problem is that there is not enough money for the overall mission and that there are sectors that are being left behind, indicated its coordinator Caroline Toupin. This is why many are disappointed and even angry, because the situation is critical on the ground, while the needs of the population are increasing. »

The Minister replied that the plan, although it is planned for five years, is not fixed and could be adapted according to the reactions of the field.

In particular, the government will set up a National Table of Community Action Partners to coordinate actions between the various organizations.

“It will allow them to brainstorm ideas, to give themselves a vision of the future of community action in Quebec and to see how we can better contribute to the vitality of Quebec society and economy,” explained The Minister.

According to Mr. Boulet, all of Quebec society will benefit from these investments for community organizations.

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